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Changes to Transit Visa Requirements

Questions and Answers

Changes to Transit Visa Requirements

1. What’s Changed?


At present nationals of 75 countries are required to obtain transit visas when transiting New Zealand to or from 11 named Pacific countries.

From 29 April 2002:

All people intending to transit New Zealand either on the way to, or coming from, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tokelau, Tonga or Vanuatu will be required to have a transit visa unless they are one of the following:

People who do not need a transit visa:

- people who are nationals of countries that have visa-free status with New Zealand, or


- people from countries that do not have visa-free status, but whose destination is Australia and who hold a current Australian visa for entry to Australia, or


- holders of other New Zealand visas.


3. Why has this changed?


Government has made the transit visa policy consistent with its visitor visa policy for non-visa-free countries.

5. Why do people whose destination is Australia not require a transit visa?


People whose destination is Australia and who hold an Australian visa do not need to incur the additional cost of an New Zealand transit visa because the Australian Government has already assessed their bona fides.

7. Who will not need a transit visa?


New Zealand currently has visa-waivers with 53 countries. Nationals from these countries do not require a transit visa (list of countries attached).

9. How much will a transit visa cost?


The Transit Visa application fee will be:

- NZ$90 if obtained in New Zealand, Australia or the Pacific,


- $NZ120 if obtained in London or the Hague; and


- $NZ160 if obtained from any other country.


Where do I get a transit visa from?

You will have to apply for a transit visa through the New Zealand representative (High Commission, Embassy or Consulate) in your country.

Travel agents will have copies of transit visa application forms. Application details are on these forms.

Forms are also available on the New Zealand Immigration Service website www.immigration.govt.nz

11. How long will I have to wait for a transit visa?


Transit visas should be processed within 15 calendar days.

13. I have booked and paid for travel that will make me transit New Zealand over Easter and will not be able to get a transit visa in my country of origin in time for my flight - what will I do?


As the changes do not take effect until 29 April 2002 then as long as you complete any travel that requires you to transit New Zealand before that date then you don’t need to do anything. If you are from a country that requires you to have a transit visa from 29 April and you will not complete any travel requiring you to transit New Zealand until after that date then you need to apply for and obtain a transit visa before transiting New Zealand. If you do not do this the airline you are a passenger on may refuse to carry you via New Zealand.

15. How long will the transit visa be in place?


The new regulations will be valid for three years.

Who does not need to apply for a temporary visa or permit

People exempt from having to obtain a temporary visa

Citizens of:

Andorra Ireland Qatar

Argentina Israel San Marino

Australia Italy Saudi Arabia

Austria Japan Singapore

Bahrain Korea (South) Slovenia

Belgium Kiribati South Africa

Brazil Kuwait Spain

Brunei Liechtenstein Sweden

Canada Luxembourg Switzerland

Chile Malaysia Tuvalu

Denmark Malta United Arab Emirates

Finland Mexico United Kingdom

France Monaco United States of America (including nationals of the USA)

Germany Nauru Uruguay

Greece Netherlands Vatican City

Hong Kong (Residents of HK travelling on HK Special Administrative Regions or British National (Overseas) passports Norway Zimbabwe

Hungary Oman

Iceland Portugal (Holders must also have rights to live permanently in Portugal) People travelling on a UN laissez passer

People exempt from having to hold a temporary permit

- Those exempted by special direction


- Those entitled to immunity from jurisdiction under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1968 or the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1971


- Members of the armed forces of any country, or crew members of any craft transporting such people to New Zealand, while in New Zealand


- At the request of the Government of New Zealand


- In the ordinary course of the member’s duty or employment


- Crew or passengers of any seagoing craft carrying passengers or cargo from the time the craft arrives in New Zealand


- Crew or passengers of any foreign fishing craft licensed under section 26 of the Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1977


- Aircraft crew on any commercial aircraft flying between any other country and New Zealand


- A member of any scientific programme or expedition under the auspices of Operation Deep Freeze while in Ross Dependency


- Crew or passengers on any ship authorised by the Minister of Transport under section 198(2) of the Maritime Transport Act 1994 to carry passengers or cargo


- Holder of transit visas




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